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Old 07-17-2014, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
7,645 posts, read 10,495,866 times
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I don't know if there is a more appropriate forum in which to post this. If so please advise. I am an inexperience bbq-er/griller and last year I bought some charcoal briquets, left them in the garage too long and when we finally used them they wouldn't heat up properly, probably got moist. Well, now I've done the same thing except this time it's a bag of "lump" charcoal, the expensive kind, and the bag hasn't been opened yet. I guess I'll have to get a backup bag no matter what, but what is the usual storage time for charcoal. (in a garage in a damp climate). Any info welcome!
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:05 PM
 
Location: South Central Texas
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Shelf life should be indefinite if kept dry and out of weather. Unless it's a self lighting type (it's fuel may evaporate over time).
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:19 AM
 
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Get a big lidded plastic bin and keep the charcoal bag in that. Not only is the damp climate getting to it, but the bag itself sitting on a concrete floor will leach dampness up from the concrete as well. If you keep the bag enclosed in the plastic bin, your shelf life should be a very long time.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
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Thanks to both of you. GOOD idea about the bin..
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:46 PM
 
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We keep ours in an airtight bin that you can find as most hardware shops, Walmart, KMart, etc.
Ours is actually kept on our back porch, also you can still use the other charcoal just get some charcoal starter fluid.
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Old 07-18-2014, 04:44 PM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,328,735 times
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Use a chimney starter and lighter fluid, eventually they will catch fire.

Second everyones suggestion on the sealed container. I keep mine in one of those larger gamma storage airtite contaniers with the screw on lids.

You can also just buy the gamma lids for standard 5gal buckets.
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Western Oregon
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Even if they're damp, you can dry them out. You've got some sunny weather this time of year, and if you want you can dump them in an open container or on some newspaper, whatever, and dry them in the sun a couple of days and they should work much better. Maybe it's more trouble than it's worth, but if you feel like it you could.
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
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Real lump charcoal will dry out nicely in the sun.

We store our charcoal outside in small galvanized trash cans. Like 1/3 the size of the normal galvanized cans. We keep 3. One for lump charcoal, one for hickory chunks and one for ashes.

We have to lid our ashes out here- very arid and forested. Don't want to risk starting a forest fire with hot ashes!
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Castlederp
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Leave them in the sun, that will dry them out
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Old 07-19-2014, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
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Thanks for your replies. After I bought the briquets I read "Low and Slow" by Gary Wiviot which details the evils of briquets so I think they'll just go out in the garbage but I definitely want to salvage the lump charcoal if possible. Haven't even opened the bag yet. Will let you know how its goes,Thanks!
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